Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

China cremates body of jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo

China cremates body of jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo

Jailed since 2009 for fighting for democratic reforms in China, Liu was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in May before being transferred from his prison cell to a hospital room where his treatment became an global issue.

"I just want to be closer to him and to see him, touch him even, if it's possible, and to give Liu Xia a hug, that's all", she said in English.

But close friend and fellow dissident Hu Jia said the motivation behind the sea burial was so that there was "nothing to remember him by on Chinese soil" and so that supporters could not create a shrine to pay tribute to him.

"This regime has always been acting without humanity - that's why they denied him even a minute of freedom even until his death", Mo said. "Liu Xia had to surrender", said Mr Liao.

"The way the funeral was controlled by the Communist Party, it's very sad to say that Liu Xiaobo can not be free even in death".

According to an official account of the ceremony provided to The New York Times by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Liu Xia ― who has not spoken publicly about her husband's death ― approached his body during the ceremony as Mozart'sRequiem played in the background.

Government official Zhang, speaking earlier, said Liu's widow was "currently free", adding that as a Chinese citizen, her rights would be protected under the law.

Another of Liu's friends, dissident writer Mo Zhixu, said he thought the well-built young men with buzz cuts in the handout photos resembled security agents who kept track of Liu's wife.

While the Communist regime claimed the family made a decision to cremate Liu Xiaobo and hold a simple funeral for him, family friends rejected this and claimed his widow is under tight surveillance.

Liu Xiaoguang said Liu Xia was in "weak condition" and experiencing such "great sorrow" and that she may need hospital treatment. He has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for "human rights" activities in China. The first, Carl von Ossietzky, died from tuberculosis in Germany in 1938 while serving a sentence for opposing Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.

China has bristled previously at Tsai's comments on China's political system.

"Liu's memorial tablet can not find a place in China's cultural temple", the Global Times said in the editorial Saturday. Liu had dedicated his life to peaceful political change-during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, he negotiated the retreat of student demonstrators as thousands of armed personnel of China's People's Liberation Army stood by to strike.

Wong reported from Beijing.

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